The Facilities Planning Committee reviewed a preliminary draft of the presentation for the two community workshops scheduled for February at its meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 30 at the District Services Center.
The workshops will take place on Feb. 5 at Kromrey and Feb. 13 at Glacier Creek. Each workshop is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. and last 2 hours. The workshops provide residents with an opportunity to learn more about the District's enrollment growth and capacity challenges, future enrollment projections, and options being considered to address the growth.
Co-chair Luke Francois briefly reviewed what he and fellow co-chair Bob Hesselbein reported at the Board of Education regular meeting on Jan. 22. The Board was supportive of all three options and making them part of the presentation at the community workshops in February, Francois said. Hesselbein noted there was no push back from the Board on the options and that they agreed it made sense to push the workshops back to February from the original dates in late November and early December.
Francois reviewed the FPC timeline. The co-chairs will continue to update the Board monthly. After the workshops, a survey will be developed and sent to community residents in April. Results are expected to be shared with the Board at its meeting on May 7. The FPC will look at the results at its meeting on May 9. Final thoughts will be shared with the Board at their regular meeting on May 14, but, as Hesselbein noted, the FPC won’t need to make a formal final presentation to the Board.
Julie Graham and Kit Dailey of Eppstien Uhen Architects provided a brief planning update. Graham noted Options A, B and C are still the same as the FPC agreed upon at its last meeting but that the graphics have been updated.
She also reviewed deed restrictions based for any potential buildings on the District-owned land at the Pope Farm site. She noted there is a 400-foot setback on the north end and that a school building or residential development can’t go there. There is also a 150-foot setback on the west end of the property and a white board fence must also be placed on parts of the west side.
Dailey noted the goal is try and simplify what is the most salient information to present to the community at the workshops. She said each option also includes the key components for that option. The Board reviewed the summary of options at its meeting on Jan. 22 and the FPC saw the updated summary for the first time on Jan. 30.
A draft presentation for the community workshops was then shared with members and Francois asked them to provide feedback, focusing on what might be missing, what needs to be explained better or what could be simplified.
Dailey noted a challenge is trying to whittle down what the FPC has covered over the past 18 months and provide the most important information. A primary goal is to make the workshops interactive and engaging for participants, she said. She told members about the efforts the District has made to make residents aware of the workshops.
She stressed that content and format for the two workshops are designed to be the same.
There was a lengthy discussion about the wording used for the first breakout question regarding enrollment growth and projections and what information the District hopes to gather from attendees. Superintendent George Mavroulis also noted each table will have a facilitator-reporter to take notes and FPC members do not need to take notes.
Members spent considerable time discussing whether to mix groups at the start or multiple times. Concerns were raised if a workshop draws 100-plus attendees it might be tough to move tables multiple times and cover everything proposed. The consensus was to assign attendees to a table to start to mix things up but leave them there throughout the evening.
Members also discussed the best way to present the blue sky ideas. There was the current graphic was difficult to read and that bigger boxes gave the impression those ideas might be more important. It was decided revisions would be made.
Members suggested a slide should be added explaining the boundary discussion is not part of the FPC’s charge but will be discussed by the District after a referendum decision.
Members wanted an explanation about Phase 1 being the Kromrey and Glacier Creek work done after the successful 2012 referendum, while a November 2018 plan is the current phase, which has also been called Phase 2. There was agreement language should also be included indicating a required future phase will also be needed.
Members stressed that information be included so attendees understand current option costs don’t include any operational expenses. They don’t people to be surprised when those are finalized and the tax impact goes up. They also suggested letting participants know costs aren’t ready yet because the District doesn’t know what staffing will be. An explanation should also include information that more space and more students leads to more operational costs.
There were lots of question about how to simplify the presentation, especially showing the three options. Members felt presenters only need to talk about high school and elementary school solution once and then explain the differences for the middle school with each option. Members also felt it was important to show why they came to the current option for the high school and the same for the elementary school.
Dailey reminded members it is also important to find out from attendees what they think about the cost and scope of the high school project. Francois also noted the phasing may cause confusion so suggested keeping things at a high level by stressing that phasing will take place.
Members also suggested adding a slide, or at the least explaining, what happens if a referendum fails or the District does nothing.
Near the end of the presentation, attendees will have 15 minutes to provide feedback on all three levels. They will then have an additional 15 minutes to talk about costs, Dailey said.
Almost all of the members indicated they will be able to attend each workshop.